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HomeLegal NewsOrthopedic Pediatrician & hospital held negligent for “Delay in performing surgery”

Orthopedic Pediatrician & hospital held negligent for “Delay in performing surgery”

Telangana state consumer forum awards Rs. 6 Lakhs compensation to the patient

Hyderabad :  The Telangana State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has held Kamineni hospitals ltd and an orthopedic pediatrician not only negligent but also deficient in service for the delay in performing surgery to a patient suffering from cerebral palsy with hemiplegia. The commission directed the hospital and orthopedic pediatrician to pay a compensation of Rs.6 Lakhs to the patient.

The case pertains to the patient born with cerebral palsy with hemiplegia and as the patient’s father worked in police department the treatment of the patient was covered in Arogya Bhadratha scheme of  Telangana government. To improve the movement of the right leg, the patient was fixed with implant at Sunshine hospital wherein the doctors advised the removal of implant after 2 years. When the patient approached the Sunshine hospital for removal of implant after 2 years, the patient was directed to Kamineni hospitals as the Arogya Bhadratha scheme was discontinued in Sunshine hospital.

The patient approached orthopedic pediatrician who after going through the medical reports advised the patient to undergo surgery for removal of implant from right leg and surgery to both legs. The surgery was performed on 30.08.2017 and the patient was shifted to general ward. On the same day the patient felt lot of pain and started crying but the orthopedic pediatrician saw the patient only on the evening of the next day i.e. 31.08.2017. The orthopedic pediatrician gave some pain killers to the patient but the crying and yelling  of the patient continued and advised X-ray.  On 01.09.2017 the X-Ray revealed that the bone of the leg was fractured. On perusal of the X-ray the orthopedic pediatrician first stated that another operation would be required and a plate will be fixed which will be permanent but after the second operation on 02.09.2017 the  orthopedic pediatrician stated that the new implant has to be removed after one year.

The court came down heavily against the orthopedic pediatrician on various counts. The court said that the orthopedic pediatrician was fully aware that the patient was suffering from cerebral palsy from childhood and his bones were brittle and hence the orthopedic pediatrician should have been extra cautious. The court pointed out that the operation was completed on 30.08.2017 by 11 am and the patient started crying by the evening on the same day.The X- Ray was taken on 31.08.2017 which showed that the bone took a different angle and leaned to the right side of the mid region. Even though the orthopedic pediatrician became aware of the badly displaced bone on 31.08.2017 he performed the surgery on 02.09.2017. The court held that keeping the physical and mental condition of the patient in mind the delay in performing the operation amounts to not only negligence but also deficiency in service. The court also pointed to the tampering of medical records by the orthopedic pediatrician. The court said that the orthopedic pediatrician by his own admission has said that he failed to observe the undisplaced facture during the time of operation on 30.08.2017 and became aware of the facture only after X- ray was done on 31.08.2017 but still in the case sheet of 30.08.2017 it has been noted that the attendant has been informed the peri-operative event of fracture thigh L screw site. The court further said that making an entry regarding such fact on 30.08.2017 at 6.00 pm is nothing but tampering the record to absolve himself from negligence and deficiency of service. The court held the orthopedic pediatrician and Kamineni hospitals ltd negligent and deficient in providing service and were liable to pay a compensation of Rs.6 Lakhs jointly to the patient.

Legal Prescription

  • Doctors should be extra cautious while treating patients that are disabled.
  • In emergency any delay in treating the patient will be construed as negligence.
  • In case of a mishap during the course of treatment the treating doctor should consider it as emergency and provide the treatment to the patient without any delay.
  • The medical records should not be tampered regardless of the records pointing out to glaring deficiency in service during the treatment.
  • After thought manipulation of the medical records will certainly lead the court to consider the treatmentbeing deficient and negligent.
  • The court on noticing tampering of medical records is always of the view that doctor wants to hide some facts related to deficiency in the treatment of the patient.